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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 1, 2015 11:38am-11:46am EST

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writers marginalized -- the other riders, not just in our heads but a literal flesh and blood other riders to keep writing, please support us. okay. up front. we have a donation basket, and the ishmael reed would like to make a closing remark it might -- see ishmael out front, yes. take you very much. thank all are brilliant brilliant writers this afternoon. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching tv television for serious readers. you can watch any program you see here online at booktv.org. >> and now joining us on booktv
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is dennis johnson was the co-publisher of melville house. melba house is publishing the senate intelligence committee report on torture. mr. johnson can what's the purpose of publishing something that's in the public domain? >> well, for one thing it's not readily available as a printed book, and we felt that that was an important format or to the end so that it could just circulate more widely, be more accessible to more people the more affordable to most people. we also felt that the addition of it that was issued by the government, which is a very low resolution pdf format was very difficult to read. it's not laid out and probably formatted like the book. it's just like a huge collection of manuscript pages. it is very difficult to read because it's so low resolution but it's difficult to search.
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it's almost impossible to search in fact. and so we wanted to make a better addition of that so that i do people really want to read that addition of the way would read a book, but it's more useful to have that for researchers and academics in things like that to have a more searchable edition of the book. >> how much of the report you will be publishing? will do the editing, commentary? >> we are publishing exactly what the government has released. the full report is over 6000 pages long but it has not been declassified. what has been declassified, declassified enable and only just released this month was the summer report issued by the senate subcommittee. and that came with an introduction by the head of the committee, dianne feinstein. and that will all be in clear as well as all the notes verifying all the documents in the report.
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we are not an indicating else do it. we feel that it should just be the core document but it's a historic document. it should not be freighted with any other apparatus that would give any kind of bias or dilute the power of the pure report. >> what goes into publishing a book of this sort where the material is already written, but you're organizing it i guess would be a word to use? >> no, we are not organizing it or changing anything but we are just trying to make it readable. and as i said was issued as a low resolution pdf, very hard to scan from almost impossible to scan it back. it's a low resolution and so there's lots of corruptions in the document if you try to scan it and say there's a smudge, that's much might then be translated as a word. it might trigger repetitions but it might trigger deletions. so we really have to take this document to basically retype it and reformat it just to be able
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to lay it out like a proper book so that it would be much more readable than in the addition the government issued. >> introduction, commentary? >> as i say just the introduction that came, that is ugly part of the summary. an introduction to the finding of the committee written by senator dianne feinstein, head of the committee. >> now, have you published looks like this before? >> no, we haven't been allowed to publish books like this before. previously the government has taken these reports such as the 9/11 committee report or the investigation that the senate did into the financial crisis and it has awarded those books as if they were contracts to larger publishers. and gave them the report early so that they could lay out for the government and publish those books simultaneously with the governments release of the document archive never quite understood why there was a loud. those are public documents. they should not be given
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preferentially to one publisher or another. they belong to the people of the united states. the government did not do that this time. senator feinstein has been opposed to the. in the past the government has either kevin publication money. senator feinstein was supposed to do. it didn't happen this time and so those publishers, without that advantage, declined to do it. so when we realize that's what was going on at melville house we decided, well these documents must exist as a printed book. they must exist as a more readable digital book. and so we jumped to do it as quickly as we could but they're all kinds of difficulties in doing that on short notice but it's called crashing a book. it's christmastime so it's very hard to get into the system. booksellers have already ordered the books for the season. warehouse is are already shipping those books.
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it's hard to get on the trucks to be distributed. it's hard to get printed. printers are very busy at that time of year and it's hard to cut to the front of the line. so we had to pull a lot of strings, ask for a lot of favors. we had about five consecutive days of the entire staff and a team of volunteers staying up around the clock to basically re- transcribed the book copy edit that new transcription, proofread, compared to the original, make sure we didn't get anything wrong lay it out and then print it. so it's been an amazing, an amazing five days just trying to jam that the book into the system at christmastime. >> and is it being published as a paper book and an e-book a? >> that's correct. it will be issued simultaneously as a trade paperback and also as an e-book. >> the new york times is reporting your initial print run will be about 50,000. is that accurate? >> that is accurate at the moment although we're getting
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just deluged with requests for the book not only from booksellers, large and small but from libraries and all kinds of academics. they're contacting us how quickly you can get the book. so it's looking right now like that number may have to go up. >> when will it be available for? >> the official publication date is december 30. will have the book printed and in our warehouse friday, three days from now. we will start shipping immediately. so it may start popping up a little before the 30th in there is independent bookstores but it'll be fully distributed around the country and available on online retailers and in both and mortar retailers and chain bookstores and you may but on december 30. >> and dennis johnson is copublisher of melville house located in brooklyn, new york. here is the cover "t

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